Restroom breaks on the moon? Forget it.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin might have been the very first individuals to set foot on the lunar surface area when Apollo 11 landed there 50 years earlier, on July 20, 1969, however they needed to give up some Earthly benefits in order to manage the moon landing.

NASA engineers were so hectic determining how to get astronauts to and from the moon that they didn’t trouble to create a toilet for the Apollo objectives of the 1960 s and 70 s. In reality, the very first toilet would not be set up on a United States spaceship till the area shuttle bus got one in the 1980 s. (There was technically a toilet on the Skylab spaceport station in the 1970 s, however it was an inglorious commode that appeared like a hole in the wall, and astronauts needed to dry their feces in an unique compartment.)

“Defecation and urination have actually been annoying elements of area travel from the start of manned area flight,” an main NASA report on the Apollo area objectives checks out

Throughout Apollo 11, just like all the other Apollo objectives, astronauts needed to battle with a stinking baggie in order to alleviate themselves. Here’s what the procedure required.

Human waste in area was relegated to a baggie system

To pee, astronauts utilized what looked basically like a prophylactic (which they changed day-to-day), which was connected to a bag with a brief tube. There was no female-friendly system, given that the Apollo astronauts were all males. Spills took place frequently.

On the Apollo objectives, astronauts peed into a cuff that cleared into this bag. The cuff wasn’t created for females.

The treatment for handling poop in area was no much better.

“In the lack of a system supplying favorable methods for the elimination of feces from the body, a very fundamental system needed to be trusted for in-flight fecal collection,” the NASA report states. “The gadget utilized was a plastic bag which was taped to the butts to catch feces.”

Find Out More: From peeing in a ‘roll-on cuff’ to pooping into a bag: A quick history of how astronauts have actually gone to the restroom in area for 57 years

Apollo 11 command module pilot astronaut Michael Collins throughout a break in training for the July 1969 moon landing journey in Cape Kennedy, Florida, June 19,1969 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin Jr., walked on the lunar surface area, while Collins circled around alone in moon orbit.
AP Picture

This appropriately called “fecal bag” that the astronauts utilized came total with a compartment for toilet tissue, and it had an integrated finger covering so astronauts might remain tidy while placing the bag on their butts. It wasn’t simple to get the bag established properly inside the little flap at the back of astronauts’ area matches. One Apollo astronaut approximated that the entire bathroom-going procedure took astronauts about 45 minutes.

And even then, the toilet-bag device was not trick evidence.

Throughout the Apollo 10 objective in May 1969, astronaut Tom Stafford sounded a caution: “Get me a napkin fast. There’s a turd drifting through the air,” he stated, according to one NASA records

NASA firmly insisted that the astronauts restore all of their feces for assessment, so after the Apollo astronauts completed doing their organisation, they needed to seal up their baggies and “knead” them, as the report information, blending in some necessary bactericide that would enable the excrement to get securely back to Earth. (There is now a total log of all 5 of the Apollo 11 area turds)

The poop bags were “rolled into the tiniest possible volume” by the astronauts and saved for the return journey, following the popular backpacker mantra “pack it in, load it out.” Unsurprisingly, the report keeps in mind that “the issue of smell was continuously present” throughout Apollo restroom breaks.

“In basic, the Apollo waste management system worked sufficiently from an engineering perspective. From the perspective of team approval, nevertheless, the system should be provided bad marks,” the last Apollo restroom report checked out.

Due to the fact that alleviating oneself in area was such a gross, lengthy, and stinky job, astronauts frequently took laxatives prior to they released, and often depend on drugs that kept their intestinal tracts running more gradually.

On the moon, astronauts used area diapers

Astronauts could not utilize this exact same bag system to capture their waste while using area matches on the lunar surface area. So when Apollo astronauts left their spacecraft, they used a “fecal containment system,” which was generally a diaper.

It’s unclear whether Aldrin and Armstrong ever made the most of those “systems” in their 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon, however Buzz does claim to be the very first male to ever pee on another heavenly body.

“It’s lonesome as hell out there,” he informed a crowd at the Newseum on the 40 th anniversary of the moon landing.” I peed in my trousers.”


The plaque that Aldrin and Armstrong left on the moon 50 years ago checks out, in part, “here males from the world Earth initially set foot upon the Moon July 1969”

The plaque does not discuss that they were both using diapers when they took that huge leap.